I don’t read that much non-fiction, but I was so intrigued by Michele Obama as a person, and there was so much hype about her book, that I decided to give it a go. Also, I’m trying to find more non-fiction stuff to listen to when I’m exercising. This fit the bill perfectly and I listened to Becoming on Audible while cycling – wins all round!
The book is a long one and tracks Michele Obama’s life all the way from her childhood days when she lived in a small flat in Chicago with her parents and brother, through university, her professional career as a lawyer, her relationship with Barack Obama, his political ascendancy, and of course, culminates with their time in the White House.
I absolutely loved hearing the story from Michele’s perspective, especially now their political lives are over. It felt brutally honest, open, and candid. I thought it was refreshing to hear how she didn’t want Barack to climb the political ladder, nor did she particularly want Barack to become President. It was super interesting to find out what was going on behind the scenes of some of the big, newsworthy moments, one of my favorites being when she met the Queen, and she brings a great perspective in terms of being a working mother with a high-powered career of her own.
The story of how Barack proposed made me laugh, the part about gun crime had me on the verge of tears, and I was left with the sense that Michele Obama is a down to earth, practical, straightforward, intelligent woman who I’d love to sit down and chat with. I loved how honest she was about herself; she positions herself as a risk-adverse, rule-following, box ticking overachiever by nature, and I can relate! She doesn’t tell us this to pass judgement on herself, but rather uses it as a way to explain her thought process and reactions to events; if only HR departments were equally progressive…
It’s a really interesting read and for me it’s a solid four stars.